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How to Fight Incorrect Project Management

Eric McConnell
May 17, 2010

what you can do if your project goes wrong

How to fight incorrect pmHave you ever faced the situation when your project was going swimmingly well but then suddenly, for some unknown reasons, you have found yourself out of budget, behind the schedule, and with no idea of what to do next? Such a situation is caused by incorrect project management, which means you have made some critical mistakes when initiating, planning and/or executing project activities.

Here’s a 6-step guide that will tell you how to fight incorrect project management. The guide will show you what to do when your project goes wrong.

In order to get back on track and overcome problems related to incorrect management of your project, you can take the following six steps:

  1. Taking stock

    When you have noticed that you are out of your project’s track, the first thing to do is to figure out how far off-track you are. You need to estimate how many hours/days/weeks/months are not tracked by you. Taking stock will help you do so and define the time you are behind your project schedule as a percent of the overall project timeline. Taking stock will also help you estimate how much over budget you are as a percent of the overall project budget.

  2. Re-plan

    At this step, you need to review your project plan and find out if you can make the time-back by changing task assignments. Project re-planning is a process of reviewing a project plan for the purpose of revealing incorrect task dependencies and task allocations and finding smarter ways for making task re-assignments that will allow getting project work completed on time and on budget. When re-planning your project, first you need to ensure that you can re-allocate team members to tasks in a smarter way that saves time.
    Then you need to check out task dependencies and find out if a more logical sequence can be achieved so the overall deadlines can be met earlier. You also need to identify the critical path through your project management plan so that you will know which critical tasks should be accomplished first of all. Then you can assign your best people to those critical tasks. Project re-planning will allow you to get critical tasks completed earlier.

  3. Brainstorming

    When you have re-planned allocations of time and tasks, you can go through the revised plan with your team by holding brainstorming sessions. Group discussions with help of brainstorming techniques will allow you clearly to see if details of the revised plan are comprehended by your team and each team member comes up with new ideas for delivering the project earlier and on budget. Usually the brainstorm process shows effectiveness in first sessions.

  4. De-scope

    At this step, you can get back on track by de-scoping your project. Here is what you need to do:

    1. List your deliverables, so you will see what results your project must deliver.
    2. Prioritize the deliverables against the project objectives; then communicate such a comparison to your project sponsor in order to ask the sponsor to remove any deliverables that are not on line with the objectives.

    After these two steps are done, you receive each deliverable and respective objective and then you can track what activity is needed to meet this objective and produce this deliverable. “De-scoping” process allows you to get a list of separated activities that are required for achieving project objectives and deliverables, and you can keep track of any issues related each separate activity.

  5. Controlling change

    You don’t want any new deliverables or objectives to be added to your project without your approval, don’t you? That’s why you need to control project change, so any changes occurred during the course of your project will be communicated to you and you will take the changes into account . Project changes control is an opportunity to earn the best chance of your project’s success.

  6. Rallying and Communicating

    This is the final step at which you need to gather all your project team and arrange a meeting. On the meeting, you need to explain why the project is late and what actions can be taken to fight procrastination. You should try to convince your team to work harder and longer to deliver the project on time and within budget.
    After the first meeting, you can arrange regular meetings on which you will keep everyone in your project team informed of progress. Regular meetings will allow you to focus team members on achieving project objectives and keep them motivated towards producing project deliverables.

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